How do I beat a sphere-heavy shops hand when I'm on the draw without FoW?
So...I didn't want to post my deck (even though it's been on RomancingTheStones tourney post) because I don't want this to be about MY deck, so much as how to get out from under a sphere-a-turn sequence when shops is on the play against ANY deck. The 1-for-1 answers don't seem that viable. I run fragmentize, and even that is often too slow or just doesn't hit enough to get value. I think I'm looking for "free" answers (bazaar-hollow one, tabernacle, EE, etc.) that have a big impact. Goyf seems interesting, but as a vanilla beater in a matchup against a deck with no instants or sorceries, it seems he'd be a 2/3 far too often. Costing 2 mana might also just be too expensive when you are on the draw and face the sphere, revoker, golem, metamorph sequence with waste/strip thrown in just because. Serenity is probably the cheapest wide-sweeping answer, but at 2 mana, it may never be castable.
Anyway, since this keeps coming back to what MY deck can do, despite that being secondary to my main question, I'll post it here in hopes that it facilitates thought and discussion without pigeon-holing the focus. This is my latest iteration of Selesnya Depths:
// 8 Artifact
1 Mox Pearl
1 Black Lotus
1 Crucible of Worlds
1 Mox Emerald
1 Mana Crypt
1 Sol Ring
1 Sorcerous Spyglass
1 Expedition Map
// 6 Creature
4 Spirit of the Labyrinth
1 Mother of Runes
1 Kataki, War's Wage
// 10 Enchantment
3 Phyrexian Unlife
2 Stony Silence
1 Ghostly Prison
// 8 Instant
4 Mental Misstep
4 Enlightened Tutor
// 25 Land
4 Thespian's Stage
1 Strip Mine
4 Dark Depths
4 Snow-Covered Plains
1 Arid Mesa
1 Flooded Strand
1 Marsh Flats
1 Windswept Heath
2 Ancient Tomb
// 4 Sorcery
2 Into the North
2 Sylvan Scrying
SB: 3 Grafdigger's Cage
SB: 1 Sorcerous Spyglass
SB: 2 Containment Priest
SB: 1 Sylvan Safekeeper
SB: 1 Mother of Runes
SB: 1 Tomik, Distinguished Advokist
SB: 1 Rest in Peace
SB: 1 Stony Silence
SB: 1 Seal of Cleansing
SB: 1 Serenity
SB: 1 Disenchant
SB: 1 Fragmentize
First, as I said before, you can assemble the thespian/tomb/depths combo fairly quickly beneath a slew of spheres, so I like that.
Solemnity is also a bomb. Not only does it completely erase 12 of shop's creatures, but it makes 4 more (overseers) into vanilla 1/1s. If I play lotus/pearl+tomb/plains+crypt/mox+sol ring + plains into a turn 1 solemnity, Shops typically is DOA. They have golem, revoker, factory, and inspector and 13-16 dead creatures (ravager, balista, hangarback are all 0/0s). Solemnity also shrugs off tomik, negates a blightsteel, and can lead to turn 1 Marits. A common line in this deck is land into ET turn 1 for lotus or solemnity, turn 2 solemnity + depths. It's solid. Y'all can say it sucks as much as you want - it doesn't.
The combo with Unlife has also won many games and it's just a nice secondary card since I'm already on 4x solemnity for Marit and have 4x tutors to get the 2nd half. Alone, Unlife also means I can't die to tendrils and get a time walk vs a lethal attack at the worst.
So, as you can see from the list, I have:
- A combo that can activate under spheres
- 5x tutors for land
- basics, fetches, and sol-lands
- Crucible to recur killed lands
- main kataki
- 2x main stony, 4x main solemnity + 4x main tutors for them
- sideboard full of 1-for-1 artifact removal (seal is tutorable)
- A sideboard serenity as a tutorable nuclear option
...and yet it's not enough. When I'm on the draw and the opponent opens with sphere, then revoker + sphere, then wasteland + metamorph, etc., I can't win too often.
How do other decks do it? What can I add to make my list have a fighting chance? What other strategies altogether will do it?
So far the best options seem to be tabernacle or EE. Goyf is intriguing, but I doubt I can cast him through the line I described above since it costs 2 mana.
Grizzly last edited by
I somehow get the feeling that you want to beat the shops nut draw. In your examples you always talk about 2+ spheres and 2+ wastelands. So either you need to land your full jewelery on turn 1, so you can actually cast something on turn 2, or you play something that gets by all the spheres, namely ee for 2, which conveniently kills most of their threats aswell.
Other than that, I really don't see how any deck can beats the shops nut draw, since you never have access to any mana at all, except dredge or force of wills on the first turn.
@grizzly I think that's exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not saying I can't beat shops. I'm saying I find it very hard to beat shops when I'm on the draw and they get the nut hand+follow-up draws. It may be that everyone has this challenge. That's what I'd like to solve - and not just for my depths deck.
If I'm on the play, I have more than enough to disrupt them. If they play an all-aggro hand, I can play through it fast enough and win. The hands I want to beat is when I'm on the draw and they get a hand that either makes my stuff cost 1 more or removes 1 of my mana sources every turn, turn after turn. The answer may just be "outside of dredge/FoW it can't be done," and that's fine...but I'm hoping there are ways.
Tabernacle seems like a way. 0-mana EE seems like a way. Stage/tomb/depths is a way, but as fragile as tabernacle. Bazaar-> Hollow One (or 2) is a way. Abolish is a way, but that's really a bad 1-for-2 trade. Not sure what else works.
Hrishi last edited by
@grizzly I'm saying I find it very hard to beat shops when I'm on the draw and they get the nut hand+follow-up draws.
This isn't just you. If any Vintage deck gets a nut hand you're not likely to win unless your draws are also stellar in many cases. I'm sure you could beat a nut hand from shops with your own nut hand, but you can hardly expect your average draws to get there.
Have you tried SFM with 1 batterskull/jitte? Those 2 coming into play "free" off SFM seems it would solve a lot of your issues.
Marland_Moore last edited by
@thewhitedragon69 since you have white try 1 or 2 abolish. It’s negative card value but it was good against old stax. Fragmatize is your friend and some type of ramp. Noble Heirarch is not good but Deathrite Shaman is good.
Pick a lane. Your deck cannot be generally good against everything. Being good against shops will make you bad against Xerox and Dredge. Look at your meta and pick.
@serracollector I don't think this would work for the situations I described. At 2 mana, SFM wouldn't be castable. As a 1/2 with an activated ability as well, ballista or revoker would shut her down before using her ability. If I can get to a spot where I can cast a 2 mana spell, I'm not locked and can probably win anyway (ET for Serenity for example). If fragmentize is too slow/uncastable vs the shop hands I described, I don't see how SFM can cut it.
How good do you think mindbreak trap is vs shops? They are going to drop their jewelry or inspectors before sphere. Only problem is that they are 100% dead in hand after turn 1.
But what you asking is comparable to the Trinisphere era. You act as if every game is turn 1 Trini and you don't have FoW. But....it's not. They do not always get lock peice into revoker into waste. For every game they do, they also get workshop, 3 moxen, and 2 ravager. The scenerios your bringing up nothing can beat except dredge or FoW, well, welcome to vintage for the last 15 years. No one can come up with some magical free card that don't exist that obliterates Mana denial affects because it don't exist, so why keep beating a dead horse?
@serracollector I'm not treating shops as if they always have trinisphere in reality. I know they don't always get the nut draw. 50% of the time I win the coin flip and I'm not even on the draw twice.
But that's not what I ever said. I can beat shops just fine. I actually consider it one of my favorable matchups.
What I am looking for is all the ways to beat a sphere/waste heavy shops opener when you are on the draw. It happens about 10% of the time, but that's what I'm looking for.
Perhaps I should edit the title to include "sphere-heavy hand". I think it's clear through the discussion, but I can see how the title is a bit misleading.
My point is, if you truly believe you can't cast a 1-2 Mana spell or creature on the draw versus a sphere heavy hand, then there is no answer. More lands, guides, and all the removal spells in magic have literally been named in this very thread. There are no more answers. Just realize your going to lose those 10% of games that happens. It's a random card game. 90% chance to win seems pretty damn good, why complain about the 10% you don't? Even if there was an answer, you'd still have to draw it, your simply not going to win 100% against....well...any tier 1 deck. That's kinda the point of it being a game right? Sometimes you lose and there is nothing you can do about it.
Ima start a thread about how to beat Ad Nauseum Tendrils on the draw with no FoW when the have a first-turn kill.
Well, I did at least get some ideas out of the discussion.
I know sometimes you are just going to get rolled. I don't mind when I get T1 POed, but dislike getting sphered out of a game and it taking 10 turns to kill me. More like a cat playing with a mouse before killing it.
I'd love to win them all, but there definitely has to be an equal chance for bonkers in several builds.
I was never actually complaining. I'd like to find ways to get out of spheres with 0 mana plays...but that doesn't mean I don't recognize that I will just lose some games. I was kinda hoping there was an obvious tactic I overlooked, but it seems not. Tabernacle was one I didn't consider, so this wasn't all for naught.
Ten-Ten last edited by Ten-Ten
leyline of sanctity, like a boss.
End of thread!
Hey guys. Does Force of Vigor solve this issue? Seems like it to me. I want to say FoV is better than FoW against Shops. I want to say green cards are better than blue cards against Shops in general now. I’d probably rather have a green creature than a Preordain as well. ️
Actually a Sphere-heavy hand is the one case where I'd think Force of Vigor is worse than Force of Will. What do you do in each of the OP scenarios?
You can either destroy the Inspector and Mox on T1, or pass your first turn to catch Sphere and something else on your opponent's T2. The first line is probably better and is also better than FoW on the Inspector.
You're screwed. You can destroy the Sol Ring and hope to lock the opponent under their own Trinisphere, and that may well be the correct play, but boy doesn't it feel good.
You're screwed, but so are the blue decks.
Again, you can FoV on their T1, but you can't target the biggest threat, which is the Golem. Waiting a turn and destroying it on their T2 is probably correct here but you're still on the back foot. Countering Golem feels superior.
Again you have to pass your first turn and hope to destroy Sphere and a second juicy target on their T2. The psychic play here is to destroy both artifacts during their Upkeep or Draw steps, before they can play the Academy. Otherwise they play their second sphere and you're only in marginally better shape than if you FoW the first sphere instead.
Force of Vigor is a strong tempo play against non-sphere artifacts, and superior to Force of Will in a great many scenarios, but it's important to note that FoV is still fundamentally a one-for-one and strategically inferior in the Shops matchup relative to By Force, Shattering Spree, Ancient Grudge, etc. Blue decks win the Shops matchup by stabilizing and then outdrawing Shops in the late-game; green decks need to be doing something equally strong (such as recurring Vengevines) to win. Picking off threats on a one-for-one basis is not sustainable over the course of the match.
It’s one mana more expensive to hard cast than By Force . Don’t get so locked into the alternate mode that you lose sight of that.
The early game is all about tempo. This is 1-for-1 removal that actually gains tempo against Shops, with 3-ball being the one foil. And again, you still get your late game 2 for 1. It’s more like the green shattering spree than anything else. But I hate comparisons because they lead to discussions on why card X isn’t like card Y.
For example, comparing this to Force of Will misses the mark. Are people going to keep Force of Vigors in the SB over Force of Will (I do board out FoW on the play, but obviously the artifact hate comes in regardless)? Similarly, preordain let’s you find more Force of Vigors and the Green cards to pitch, so this is also a false dichotomy. “I’d rather have Force of Vigor over Preordain.” “Cool, I’d rather have both.”
I actually did the math on the number green cards and the probability of having a green card + Force. I’ll post it tonight.
@evouga I actually think this is going to be better than FoW in many scenarios in the matchup. But this does break sphere lock better than any option before. Even if you do 2-for-2 by pitching to cast it, you can get out from a single sphere and take away their accelerator with just 1 mana. Shops, even with 4 sphere, 1 thorn, 1 golem, 4 revoker, 1 chalice, etc., usually gets 1-2 spheres to start in their opener if they are keeping that line. If you can play a land and hit their revoker and sphere, now they have to topdeck the next lock piece as opposed to having 1-in-7 chance in their opener. They have no draw or scrying. Their metamorphs also now have nothing to copy. stopping their initial sphere-lock by killing 1 or 2 mana denial effects is usually all you need to develop enough mana to not fall so far behind. The sphere-lock hands are only bad because they only allow you to play 0 mana spells each turn by adding 1 lock piece each turn. Kill the first 2, and you won't be locked into mox-only spells.